- Proteas all-rounder Andile Phehlukwayo is eager for this year's T20 World Cup in Australia to go ahead.
- For the past three months, international cricket has been suspended with the first international fixture scheduled to take place on 8 July
- Phehlukwayo knows that it'll be tough for cricketers to adapt to the new rules.
Proteas all-rounder Andile Phehlukwayo is hopeful that the T20 World Cup in Australia will proceed as planned later this year.
The T20 World Cup, which is set to take place from 18 October to 15 November, is under threat due to coronavirus-related travel restrictions.
Earlier this month, Cricket Australia chairperson Earl Eddings revealed that staging the tournament this year is "unrealistic".
Australia, who have just over 7 000 coronavirus cases, have had success in containing the virus, which has seen the National Rugby League return to action.
Meanwhile, back home there are over 100 000 coronavirus cases in South Africa with international travel still suspended.
The Durban-based Phehlukwayo said that he is still eager to play in this year's T20 World Cup but will understand if the tournament gets cancelled.
"On a personal note, I'm very optimistic that the World Cup does still happen," Phehlukwayo told Sport24 in a Zoom interview.
"I want this tournament to happen, especially after we've all had a year like this. This (tournament) could be seen as a reward for us to compete and for people to watch a really competitive tournament.
"If it doesn't happen because of safety measures, I'll understand as it's a serious thing that shouldn't be taken lightly. So many people's lives have been taken away from this virus."
The 1st ODI between Australia and New Zealand on 13 March 2020 was the last international fixture played before the outbreak of the coronavirus.
However, the wait is finally over as West Indies tour England next month with the first Test scheduled to get underway on 8 July in Southampton.
The Indian Premier League, the biggest T20 league in the world, has been postponed with no new date revealed.
Earlier this month, Cricket South Africa unveiled an event called the Solidarity Cup in order to get live cricket back in SA.
The Solidarity Cup was scheduled to take place this Saturday, 27 June but was postponed with no new date announced.
Phehlukwayo will play for the Eagles team, which is captained by Proteas ODI captain Quinton de Kock.
The Proteas all-rounder is excited to get back on the field but admitted that the new ICC rules will take a while to get used to.
"I think in the beginning it will be tough to get used to but we going to have to adapt," said the 24-year-old.
"As a professional sportsman, you're always thrown in the deep end and you have to adapt. I think it's not going to be easy and there'll be lots of frustrations for us players to mentally accept it but we have to understand that this is how things are going to have to work to keep us safe.
"When we do get used to it, it'll be quite fun and challenging and competitive again."